China greatly boosting copper production, investment in Tibet

(Photo courtesy: SSL Jamaica)
(Photo courtesy: SSL Jamaica)

(, Sep07, 2018) – A state-run Chinese mining company is to start commercial production at its 100,000-tonne-per-year copper smelter in Qinghai province in October, reported Reuters Sep 6. The report added that the company – Western Mining Co Ltd, one of China’s biggest copper concentrate producers – will also spend 8 billion yuan ($1.17 billion) to expand its mine in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

The smelter project, which has involved investment of 2.4-2.5 billion yuan, was currently undergoing test production, the company’s Chairman Zhang Yongli was cited as saying on the sidelines of the China International Copper Forum being held in Qinghai’s capital Xining.

The report said the company’s Qinghai smelter accounted for around one-tenth of the roughly 1 million tonnes per year of new copper smelting capacity that was scheduled to be commissioned in China, the world’s largest copper consumer, in 2018.

The report continued that in TAR, in the meanwhile, the company’s investment plan will cover the next two years in the second phase of its Yulong copper mine, located in Chamdo City and slated to be the PRC’s largest. This involves raising the annual processing volume to 20 million tonnes, or 130,000 tonnes of metal content, by the end of 2020, company President Li Yibang was cited as saying.

The mine’s current processing capacity was stated to be 2.3 million tonnes of ore per year.

The report said the company was also tapping Qinghai’s salt lake resources to produce materials used in batteries, such as lithium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide.

In this connection Bai has said the company’s annual magnesium hydroxide output would jump from 100,000 tonnes at present to 500,000 tonnes by 2020. Li has said the company was investing 10 billion yuan in the magnesium business. ($1 = 6.8368 Chinese yuan renminbi)


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